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The Blog: Let's Talk Gardening

Celebrating a Local Tradition

Known for its beauty, long blooming period and hardiness, the “Tree of 100 days” is being celebrated at our 31st annual Crepe Myrtle Festival.

In its more than a quarter-century tribute to a tree that beautifies landscapes across Hampton Roads, the 2013 Crepe Myrtle Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, at McDonald Garden Center year-round locations in Hampton, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Crepe Myrtles are America’s most versatile, long-blooming perennial.

The McDonald Crepe Myrtle Festival was created to be an informative, fun-oriented experience. The free-to-the-public event features an abundance of crepe myrtles, plants, flowers, exhibits, food and refreshments. A children’s Ice Cream Cone Planter Workshop will also be offered on Sunday, July 21, at 12:00 p.m. at each location.

Much of the Crepe Myrtle’s appeal is about color. The festival has been grown not only around the colorful tree, but on providing a colorful atmosphere of fun, information and activity during the dog days of summer. This year’s festival features a wide range of participating organizations, including master gardeners, horticultural societies, beekeepers, and of course, McDonald experts who will be on hand to discuss a range of garden and landscaping ideas, as well as solutions to common problems, such as moles, voles and plant diseases.

Many McDonald Garden Center customers have been anticipating the festival weekend, ready to cash in on their Myrtle Money. Myrtle Money collected during the spring can be redeemed dollar for dollar at the festival for up to 50 % off the regular price of any in-stock item.

The Crepe Myrtle is originally from China and has been in cultivation in the United States for more than a century. The tree is ubiquitous in Hampton Roads, lining many area city streets in its wide range of colors and sizes. July/August is the peak of the tree’s 100-day blooming period.

Exhibits at the Hampton location (1139 W. Pembroke Ave.)

· Colonial Beekeepers Association
· Hampton Master Gardeners
· ReWined Designs
· Oberweis Dairy
· Food on the Move
· Buttar Cups Face Painting (Noon on Sunday during Kids’ Ice Cream Cone Planter Workshop)
· Whistler Works Studio

Exhibits at the Virginia Beach location (1144 Independence Blvd.)

· Daylily Society
· C.E. Harris – Beekeeper
· Chic-fil-a

Exhibits at the Chesapeake location (3925 Portsmouth Blvd.)

· Butterfly Society
· Rose Society
· Beekeepers
· Master Gardeners
· Herb Lady (Cyndi Wyskiewicz)